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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    650

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    I just saw your second question and wanted to reply.

    Did anyone go to Guanacaste? Yes, that is the are our last hotel was in, Punta Islita.

    Was there a lot to do in the area? Not sure, we never left our hotel during this part of the trip. Our hotel is secluded so to leave would have been a $50 taxi ride each way. We were fine with this since our hotel had two pools, a beach, two restaurants and offered tours. It was also at the end of our trip and we just wanted to rest and relax.

    How much was the trip (not including airfare) if you don't mind my asking?

    We went in a group of four. It was me, my husband, my mom and my husbands best friend. We had to stay in places that allowed us to be together but have our own space. This meant we spent more $$. It would have been cheaper just me and my husband alone but we wanted to be with friends. Having said that, here is what we spent. Remember we went in off season so it was cheaper but you can totally do CR with 3K (our entire trip was under that).

    Hotel for the 1st night $128 with military discount. Three of is in one room with two double beds. (Fourth person had not arrived in CR yet).

    Hotel for 2nd and 3rd night. We had two rooms. The boys stayed in a room and got an online discount for the hotel spending $80 a night. Us girls stayed in another room, no discount, and spent $160 a night.

    Hotel for 4th and 5th night. Stayed in a three bedroom, 3 bathroom villa with private pool. Payed a total of $900.

    On the 6th night we went back to the first hotel (close to airport) and paid $128 a night.

    We hired a private driver that we used for 4 full days. The total amount was $650 (not including tip).

    The hot springs were $20 to get into. The zip line tour we did was $40. We did not spend a lot on gifts. Food was cheap and our plane tickets, direct flight, were $350 each from New York.

    I hope that helps.
    soaking in baby bliss: october 2007

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    3,050

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    We booked our trip! We are going to be staying in Arenal for a few days and La Playa Tambor for the second part of the trip. Cost wasn't bad and we're using our miles to fly there. Our travel agent got us private car xfers as well. We are also staying in San Jose on the way in and out.

    How's the weather in Dec? Obviously, being so close to the equator its summer year round, but is it hot like Texas, 90+degrees? We plan on doing white water rafting, hot springs and the canopy tour, plus hiking and then the beach. Should we book those excursions now? Any suggestions on what to pack? Will I need long pants and a jacket, or am I good with just shorts and tank tops? Will I need to bring any dressy clothes for eating out or is it very casual?
    Thanks!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    431

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    I don't know what the weather's like in December. I doubt it'll be 90+. When I was there in March, it was in the 80's during the day. It did get a little cold at night in Arenal. I remember wearing a fleece once or twice. I would book the whitewater rafting ahead of time but don't worry about booking hot springs or canopy tours in advance. No need to bring dressy clothes (unless you want to go someplace nice in San Jose); everything is super casual. We only brought shorts & jeans with us and were fine. I would bring long pants (hiking pants that zip off to become shorts are ideal), a fleece or sweatshirt, and a light raincoat. Have fun!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    634

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    I just read on a gov't advisory site that passport theft has been on the rise in Costa Rica and that all tourists are required to carry their passports at all times. Now I'm a bit paranoid about having to carry our all documents with us (we usually leave them in the hotel safe). Should I be worried? Would you recommend making copies of everything (passports, tickets, credit cards)?

    Annette, sorry for highjacking your thread.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,935

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    I always make copies of everything before I travel internationally. As for the passport, I just read this on the State Dept site:

    In a modification to a legal requirement that foreigners carry their passports on their persons at all times, Costa Rican migration authorities have stated that U.S. citizens may carry simply photocopies of the passport data page and of the Costa Rican entry stamp on their persons, and leave the original passport in a hotel safe or other secure place.
    I personally don't ever put my passport in the hotel safe, mainly because I tend to stay in crappy hotels I figure it's safer locked in my bag or carried with me than with the staff at the hotels I stay at. If I ever stayed at a super nice hotel I would probably be OK with the hotel safe.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    934

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    Just here to HIGHLY recommend Tabacon Lodge and Hotel Punta Islita, as well as Rios Tropicales for rafting on the Pacuare. We also stayed at Hotel Si Como No in Quepos/Manuel Antonio and it was good.

    CR is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! You are going to have a GREAT time!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    345

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    Quote Originally Posted by Annette
    We booked our trip! We are going to be staying in Arenal for a few days and La Playa Tambor for the second part of the trip. Cost wasn't bad and we're using our miles to fly there. Our travel agent got us private car xfers as well. We are also staying in San Jose on the way in and out.

    How's the weather in Dec? Obviously, being so close to the equator its summer year round, but is it hot like Texas, 90+degrees? We plan on doing white water rafting, hot springs and the canopy tour, plus hiking and then the beach. Should we book those excursions now? Any suggestions on what to pack? Will I need long pants and a jacket, or am I good with just shorts and tank tops? Will I need to bring any dressy clothes for eating out or is it very casual?
    Thanks!
    Hello! I'm from Costa Rica. In fact, my fiance is living there right now while I finish school to join him later.

    Arenal is beautiful. Tambor has a nice resort, but the beach isn't that pretty. Good news is, you're a half hour drive away from stunning beaches. So if you have private transportation, it's just a quick (bumpy) ride away. Playa Tambor is in the Nicoya Peninsula (just for your reference) and good beaches near you are: Montezuma, Malpais (great surf), Santa Teresa (***great surf, great beach), Cabuya, Murcielago. Some pretty beaches you can only walk to: like Cocal and Cocalito (a personal favorite and the one that's best to swim at) for example...from Montezuma. Come to think of it, I once met a couple who hiked FROM Playa Tambor, to the waterfall that falls into the sea, to Cocalito...ON THEIR OWN, I was impressed. There's also the Montezuma waterfalls, which you have to hike to. Be ready to get your shoes wet. Cabo Blanco National Park is very close to you too. You hike some kilometers and find the most beautiful beach I've seen in the area....and I know the area

    By the way, Montezuma is one of the few places in CR, you can see the sunrise on the Pacific coast.

    Shorts and tank tops are sufficient. Though it's always good to bring a pair of jeans, for the occassional horseback ride or simply because sometimes it's the better option. And a jacket is a good idea, because evenings SOMETIMES get chilly in the Central Valley and Arenal. If you're hiking, good hiking shoes and a pair of good sturdy 'strap on' sandals for the beach, if you plan on walking to different beaches. (A nice stride or horseback ride is Montezuma~Cocal~Cocalito~Waterfall)

    Expect BEAUTIFUL weather in December (though with Global climate change, you never know) It's the end of the rainy season and days are sunny and usually dry. Tambor is warm and dry, I don't think anything like texas, though I've never been there. Costarican weather is usually very comfortable. Arenal is humid and warm....a bit much for me, but I'm spoilt. I think New England is HORRIBLE during the summer, for example.

    Oh, make sure you visit "La Fortuna" Waterfall while near Arenal. It is AMAZING. Take a swim underneath it, it's worth it. It's a steep hike down, so make sure you bring good hiking shoes.

    What to pack: sunscreen & BUG repellent. Though you can get most things in Costa Rica easily.

    Eating out is casual, just don't show up in a swimsuit. You can dress up if you like, but most of the times, it's very laid back and easy.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    695

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    Hi there,

    I wanted to bump this up - I might be going to Costa Rica in March, staying at the Witches Rock Surf Camp. Has anyone done this camp in CR? Any other 'must do's or other tips while we're there? We'd only be there for 5-6 days.

    gracias!
    Haiku is easy
    But sometimes they don't make sense
    Refrigerator

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    3,050

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    Hi Chortles! I am not sure where you are staying, but if you get a chance, go to Arenal since there are so many things to do there. This is where we went zip-lining, rappelling, white water rafting and also went to the Arenal Hanging Bridges and who can forget the volcano at night. The town of La Fortuna is right next door and there are tons of cute restaurants to eat at and they are really cheap 2-3 per person. If you have white water rafting experience, you can raft the Toro River with Rios Tropicales. It's a class 4 river with 3 hours of solid rapids, quite an adrenaline rush.
    We had a wonderful time there and would love to go back someday to see other areas of the country.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1,680

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    I just wanted to chime in and say that DH and I spent our honeymoon in Costa Rica in September 2002. We had the very best time of our lives!!! Seriously. It was amazing and beautiful and I couldn't have asked for anything more. Due to the fact that we were simply exhausted from wedding planning we did decide to pick one location and stay there instead of traveling every few days. It worked perfectly for us. We stayed at Hotel Parador in Manuel Antonio.

    I definitely would like to go again someday!

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